Monday, May 24, 2021

Finally, we had a day without rain (unless you count a few sprinkles)

Two or more weeks of daily rain brought back an old saying from my childhood in Iowa and north Missouri:  "Do you think the rain will hurt the rhubarb?"

As a child, I never knew what the saying meant, but I heard it often.  Remember, in the late forties and early fifties, most people still gardened.  All my farmer relatives had some rhubarb somewhere in or near the garden.  As an adult, I know that it's very hard to give rhubarb too much water; it thrives on rain.  So the answer to the question "will the rain hurt the rhubarb" is "of course not, anybody knows that!"  As a child, I didn't know why people asked the question, but I noticed they always smiled or chuckled when they said it; so I assumed there must be a joke in there somewhere.  I never cared for rhubarb, although I would eat a bit of the strawberry-rhubarb pies Grandma made.  My husband loves rhubarb, but he hasn't had any for years.

My weekend went well.  We "cut the cord" with CenturyLink (the company that we've been getting our Internet from since 1998) as well as Directv.  Our Internet speed gives us about four times the speed Centurylink gave us.  We are two miles from the source of our internet, which is at the top of the Wellington water tower.  I'm a little doubtful about how long it will work, because there are a lot of trees between here and that source, and trees do keep growing.  If it will last two years, I won't feel too bad about paying to have it installed here.  If not, I would hope something else comes along; my next-door grandson seems to think there will be another option at some point.

Yesterday was pretty warm, and the sun made several appearances after noon.  I did some tilling in the garden when I got home from church, and planted a few more seeds.  This whole Missouri river bluff we live on is made of windblown sandy soil that drains very quickly, so you can get five inches of rain on Thursday and three days later.  Even if I till it while it's a little too wet, it doesn't clump up and harden into rock-like lumps, the way clay soil does.  Many's the time I've put on my boots and just pushed seeds into the mud, when the rain refused to stop for days at a time.  

Taken at 6:15 AM this morning

The fenced area at the far end of the garden contains my three tomato plants and two pepper plants.  Raccoons have been know to visit my tomato plants when there are many green tomatoes setting on; they pull them off the plant, take a bite or two, then pull more off until what would be the first tomatoes to ripen are totally gone.

My row of green beans.  I also have a more recent planting that just popped out of the ground.

Here you have my two rows of sweet corn.  The nearer part of the two rows just popped up two days ago.  I need to thin the plants a little.  

It's just a small garden.  I have no intention of canning anything.  At this point in my life, I just try to plant several small plantings so I have something throughout summer for the table, fresh.  

There are some other random plants that don't show up in the picture:  One zucchini plant, which will likely be ruined by squash bugs before I ever get a single zucchini;  a cucumber vine over by the cage where it can climb up the fence, etc.  Oh, and two heads of cabbage at one end of the green bean row.  

Gardening isn't the thrill it used to be for me, but it still puts hope and faith in my heart, watching things grow.  Below is a poem I wrote, back in the days of my huge gardens.

Donna Wood

It's hope that orders garden seed,in winter's snow and wind.
Although the world is frozen, hope can see it born again!
It's faith that plants the tiny seeds, though spring has not arrived.
The seeds look dry and dormant, but Faith whispers, "They're alive!"
It's love that tends the growing plants and prays for rain and sun:
Love hoes and weeds and labors, till the garden season's done.
When I work in my garden, it reminds me, row by row,
That hope and faith and love together make the Christian grow.


  1. It's nice to have a small garden for fresh vegetables. I'd never heard that saying. I love rhubarb, but mostly in pies and breads.

  2. I have never heard that saying about rhubarb. My mom used to have a patch of it behind the house but it started dying back to where she didn't have enough to give away anymore and then she got cancer and wasn't interested in what the rhubarb was doing and it just died off. Last fall, our local nursery had one sad looking pot of rhubarb that they just gave to us when we purchased something else and I stuck it in the front lawn of the farm next to a cleanout pipe and it has actually thrived. This year we let it head out without picking. Next year, I hope to get my first rhubarb in a long time.

  3. I like the verse. If Joe can get his pkg through high speed internet May come more available. Both my sisters say they’d rather have good internet than tv. Helen has nothing but her phone unless she gets a hot spot from the local library.

    I like rhubarb, but didn’t know it loved water. I’ve made strawberry rhubarb cobbler. Now, I don’t make anything. When I try it nasty and the chickens get it.

  4. I love-love-love your poem, Donna, and I do your garden this year. Everything looks nice & healthy so far. I got a bunch of rhubarb from the health food store, in the produce we order just about every week, and I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I knew pies, cakes, muffins and all that were a possibility but I don't partake in those things, being diabetic & all. So I simply cut up the rhubarb and put it in a saucepan. I added a diced fresh pear, some raisins, some cinnamon, some sugar, and a bit of water. I boiled it until everything was softened and then mashed it (except for the raisins... those didn't "mash"). It was the most delicious sauce. I can't wait to get more rhubarb now. *haha* ~Andrea xoxo

    1. *love* your garden this year...

    2. in the produce *box* we order just about every week... Lordy, my words are not flowing right this morning!!!

  5. I had heard that saying about rhubarb but never know the reasoning. I always just thought rhubarb didn't like wet feet.
    Garden is looking good and there is good eating in your future. I really like your poem. A perfect description of gardening hopes.

  6. What a lovely little garden!!!


I love comments!